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Lia Fail - Inveralmond Brewery Ltd., The

Not Rated.
Lia FailLia Fail

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very good

114 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 114
Reviews: 86
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 10.93%
Wants: 2
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Inveralmond Brewery Ltd., The visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
Scottish Ale |  4.70% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-01-2002)
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Ratings: 114 | Reviews: 86 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BDTyre

British Columbia (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a hazy muddy copper colour with a standard, slightly off-white head.

Sweet-sour malt smell with a hint of smokiness and a very light hint of peat. Caramel in the background.

Smokey dry malt taste. Coffee-caramel flavours, light hop tastes. Note as thick or overpowering as some of the Scottish ales I've had...and certainly not as underpowered either.

A tad thin at times on the mouth, but a nice thick finish. A good session Scottish.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2007 02:35:42 | More by BDTyre
Photo of jbsteiny


3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A really interesting color, this one. Like a muddy brown ale -- hazy dark copper -- with a decent head and lacing the color of extra-light coffee. Strong carbonation. Smells strongly of malts, with a bit of smoke & earth -- quite Scottish.

Didn't really do it for me, though. I found it a bit metallic and medicinal with a thin mouthfeel for the style. Certainly easy to drink, though, with interesting flavor characteristics that you don't find in most American ales. I'd get it again if looking for something different, but I prefer most other Scottish ales / wee heavies I've tried.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2007 10:21:33 | More by jbsteiny
Photo of Sigmund


4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle, bought at Peckham’s, Glasgow. Deep amber to copper coloured beer, decent off-white head. Lovely fruity aroma, also notes of malts and caramel, hints of spices. The flavour is fairly fruity and moderately malty, with distinct hops throughout, also notes of toffee. Well balanced. A very nice bitter!

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2007 21:52:27 | More by Sigmund
Photo of bruachan

District of Columbia

3.13/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

i gave this guy an aggressive pour, as i anticipated a head might be hard to coax out of the bottle. sure enough it was big...and then it wasn't. some lacing to prove it. the color is a mostly red amber

the aroma is super chocolatey in a smoky way. like the dry stuff that flakes off of bars of dark chocolate. actually, beyond that there's not a whole lot more

that bitter chocolate follows the nose into the taste of the beer itself. not at the start, but in the finish of each mouthful (well, not the very end...buut close). there's some big hop character at the end, as well. all in all a very different scottish ale. it's thin and doesn't sport the typical sweetness and chewiness. in fact, it's really not sweet

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2007 02:40:37 | More by bruachan
Photo of kmacphail

United Kingdom (Scotland)

3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A lovely looking brown beer poured with a good white head that displayed good retention throughout the duration of the pint.

The nose was a pleasant mix of both hops and malts with a slightly bitter after scent of citrus fruit. These followed through to the taste to produce a very pleasant beer. But with a bit more emphasis on peatiness this time around. Reminded me of a better version of 1488.

A nice medium-thick mouthfeel, not too heavy, make this a very drinkable beer. At 4.7% it is a realistic session ale, it did not have some of the unpleasant after effects that some real ales give.

Highly recommended.

Serving type: cask

06-27-2007 18:41:39 | More by kmacphail
Photo of albern


3.25/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

It pours a cloudy brackish brown with little head and only slight lacing. The smell is the best part of this beer. You get a nice blend of bready malt, some hops, and some sweet fruit aromas (maybe raisin or currents or figs). The consistency is watery and pretty thin and light bodied. I would have preferred something heavier. The taste is nice, but again, too watery. The sweetish malts are pronounced and then it dissipates. You get a bit of a burnt flavor. There is very little carbonation in this beer. There is a smallish bite in the aftertaste where the hoppiness comes out. It is the dissipation in the mid to end of the taste that is the most troubling and which compromises this beer. The mouthfeel is very light. There just isn't enough here to sink into. Not a bad beer though.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2007 22:28:25 | More by albern
Photo of lordofthewiens


3.2/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A 500ml bottle poured into a pint glass. It was a cloudy brown with a thin head that had an oily sheen to it. Nice aroma: toffee, butterscotch, dark fruit. However, something happened between the aroma and the taste. Initially sweet, then nothing was there, then some sharp hops showed up. Not a very pleasing taste. Doubt that I'll try this particular Scottish Ale again.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2007 13:32:07 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of BuckSpin


3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 500ml bottle in a stemmed thistle glass

Poured smooth like a country stream. Nose has some interesting sweet qualities: toffee, butterscotch, thick malts, dried fruit like raisin, prune, fig. It just continues to grow with some light milk chocolates, a creamy, subtle blond coffee flair, maybe some very faint wood. As it warms & blooms the oak quality rises, as do the peaty malts and even some distant smoke...very nice.

Head is root beer float style, thick, sculpted, sticky and viney to the glass sides, a good 2 fingers of dull latte foam that lasted long, fading only to a pinky's worth of the same while lacing with thick curtains. Body is a beautifully clear, sharp cherry amber, warm & somewhat brassy, inviting. All & all a treat for the various pre-taste senses!

Very nice, a little creamy, smooth with not a silky but a a crushed velvet burr to it on the tongue in the form of bittersweet malts, caramelized, a wee bit burnt. Stone fruits like dark cherry and black currant, dries fruits such as raisin & fig, all there but soft. There is a brashness to it, a bit unrefined, slightly earthy & dirty, even a echo of dark chocolate, but thats not necessarily a bad thing.

It gets more bitter with hops on the palate, and then (sadly) fades away with a chalky, coating, almost burnt, slatelike aftertaste...bummer.

This was great in all aspects until it got to the mid-taste on the palate, then it fell off sharply. What a shame. Still, it was good, and I'll give it a 4 on Taste, but just barely. Its certainly better than a 3.5. I can't say that I would keep a ready supply on hand, but I would drink it again on occasion. Might be helped by a good cheese to fill in the dead spot. I'd recommend it, but there are other examples of the style that are better. If you like a bit of a crudeness to your ales, then definitely give it a shot.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2007 01:45:08 | More by BuckSpin
Photo of BretSikkink


3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown brew with some reddish highlights. Really attractive beer actually, reminds me of a strong bitter. Good head, about one finger, lacing quite sticky. I get some dark fruit and caramel aromas, not a lot of power.

The flavor brings some spicing hops that get drowned in alcohol-soaked raisin. There's actually a little floral bit too, as it warms. There's a little grain flavor and some toasted malt.

Maybe a little thin, not much carbonation at all. It's very smooth, and the head stays around long enough to be mostly creamy. On the light side in alcohol and body. This is a sessionable Scottish ale.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2007 08:50:29 | More by BretSikkink
Photo of Atron67


3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Gives a good dark-amber hue with a nice head, Nice smell with woody essence but notes of malt and hops nicely balanced for style. good smooth sweet taste also fitting of style, however it would be nice if it had a much more full body. The tastes are good however not as prominant as personally desired.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2007 22:36:42 | More by Atron67
Photo of beckje01


3.15/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark amber with 1/2 an inch of head

S- Malts with a touch of alcohol, and some slight woody smells wich are very nice.

T- Malts with a rich smoke flavor, very good for the style

M- Smoth with a bit of water feel to it not quite as full as I would like

D- Pretty easy going down, kind of light over all drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2006 16:01:18 | More by beckje01
Photo of Dukeofearl


2.63/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I find I really like or really don't care for Scottish beers (or, to be fair, the Scottish beers available to me in Southern California). This "Stone of Destiny" beer did not do it for me.

$4.59 for a 0.5 liter bottle at La Bodega in Riverside, CA, July 2006.

Pours a clear amber, with an odd, off-grey head (a color I never thought I would use when describing beer). A ton of dark yeast chunkies fell into the glass almost from the beginning of the pour. I don't mind yeast floaties or chunkies at all, but this was a touch overwhelming.

Aroma is a rich dark deep malt, quite roasty. Flavor is of strong hops, very sharp, with a pronounced yeast quality (what a surprise). A bitterness reminiscent of overboiled coffee finished it for me- not recommended.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2006 18:47:54 | More by Dukeofearl
Photo of DogFood11


2.7/5  rDev -28%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Head took some extreme effort to form up and then fades to ring like covering w/ scattered lace left behind. Brown color looks deep and rich, little carbonation.

A simple, straight forward brew. Light on the palate w/ little carbonation and finishing a bit watered. Malts are subtle but still enough to be the dominant theme. Toasted middle and a bit of a hop splash towards the end only to finish watery and lingering grain.

Notes: Session would be out for me as it is not very refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2006 00:24:56 | More by DogFood11
Photo of wl0307

United Kingdom (England)

3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First time to try the bottled version, and I'm so surprised to see a huge difference with the cask-conditioned one tasted last winter~~
BB APR 2007, served cool in a straight imperial-pint glass.

A: light russet hue, coming with a thik and tight creamy off-white beer head sustaining ve...ry well; gently carbonated.
S: juicy fruits as well as creamy malts upfront, mixing together rich scented dried berry (dried dates, raisins, longan-fruits), flowery scent of hops, aromatic tea-leaves, and an assertive edge of brown sugar... all rolled in one, making a creamy, aromatic malty nose with good depth of fruitiness and hops. Good~~
T: semi-roughly textured caramely malts and roasted tea-leaves hit the palate upfront, followed by black-tea-ish hops hand in hand with a toffee-ish, nutty, and brown-sugary maltiness expanding on the palate; subtly, the bitter edge intensifies step by step, underlining a lingering aftertaste of chewy, floral hoppyness with a slightly spicy touch, due to three kinds of hops used in the brew I suppose (Challenger, Fuggles, Cascade), while the lingering dried fruity aftertaste simply refuses to budge.
M&D: softly carbonated on the palate, quite light for the full flavour; A malty+fruity Premium Bitter style beer, with a complex hop flavour and and a much lighter body than the flavour suggests, yet ever so quaffable. Now I really wonder if my previous encounter with the cask-conditioned version suffered from the "nearly off" factor, as the hop characteristic was too mild to be noticeable.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2006 11:57:07 | More by wl0307
Photo of Shaw


3.6/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a lovely amber color with a slight head that reduces to just partial foam in my glass. Some particles, no doubt from the bottle conditioning.

It smells of caramelized malt and biscuits.

The flavor is of roasted grains with a hint of mustiness and toasted flavors.

The body is light, as I would expect with a beer of this low ABV.

This is a nice toasty ale that is a great session beer. It has an abundance of flavor.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2006 05:26:26 | More by Shaw
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep brown with a reddish hue with a thinner light brown head some chunks and floaties swirling around.Light aromas of choclate malt and caramel maybe a hint of hard water or iron.A very soft malty flavored brew up front light chocolate and caramel flavors with an underlying herbal English hop flavor that comes thru more in the finish and as it warms.A thinner bodied beer but very sociable, a nice Scottish "small" beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2006 22:24:16 | More by oberon
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a slightly murky ice tea brown color with a frothy head and some lacing

Smell: Malted milk chocolate and hazelnuts; rather bready

Taste: Starts with a very clean malty base which turns a bit earthy and coarse in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Very smooth but a tad below medium bodied; moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A very pleasant Scottish that is marked down a bit for its mediocre finish

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2006 01:05:59 | More by brentk56
Photo of lackenhauser


4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Chestnut color that cant be beat. Chunky, fluffy white head that looks almost like rice pudding from the top! Sweet,caramel and malt aroma. Slight sherry tinge. Malt dominates the flavor. Very mild hop bite to it. Treacle and toffeeish flavors. Nice malty sweetness in the finish. Great body for the listed abv. An excellent beer-very full and well rounded. Retired? Damn shame.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2005 01:54:44 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of rocketmotor


3.3/5  rDev -12%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served from a bottle, pours with a small head. Leaves good lacing on the glass. This beer has a nice malty aroma. I can also smell the hops, a rather light scent that seems to be riding on the edge of the malt, with a nice, spicy character.

This beer has a nice malt flavor, rather mild, not roasted too much, as I do not like the coffee flavors of very malty beers. The hops taste similar to the smell, spicy and on the outside edges of the malt. Leaves a nice interplay between sweet malt and hops on the tongue. There is also a slight sour flavor, not overpouring, but unmistakable. I guess it works ok... I prefer a more carbonated beer, as this is mildy carbonated. Mouthfeel is still nice though, with good body.

Drinkability is good, I could have more than one if I had to. I really need something with more hops.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2005 04:13:12 | More by rocketmotor
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.48/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Well carbonated, good summer drink. Brown, big initial head of cream. Lace and off-white head. Malt and sourness significant contributions. Scotch, barleywine aroma. Grassy,hops present copper of UK ales, fine when you share the bottle. Easy drinking.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2005 22:08:25 | More by Sammy
Photo of WesWes

New York

4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a brown color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a rich malty scent that is full of roasted and caramel malts. It is dry, yet sweet with a bitter hop aroma. The taste is good. It has a solid "amber" base consisting of pale, crystal, and roasted malts. It is sweet on the swallow and bitter on the finish. It has a sweet malty character that is well balanced with hops. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good Scottish ale. It's full of malt flavor along with a good hop character; a fine sessions beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2005 23:24:34 | More by WesWes
Photo of aracauna


3.15/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark copper with a weak head. The aroma is very malty with a hint of peat. It’s also heavily sweet with caramel and brown sugar. The flavor isn’t overly sweet (the aroma would have fit a cloyingly sweet beer, so it wouldn’t have been unexpected), but does have a cake-like malt quality that complements the aroma nicely. There’s virtually no bitterness. The body is a bit thin, however.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2005 23:56:58 | More by aracauna
Photo of merlin48


4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, mahogany body with a small, but lasting, beige head. Island chain patterns of lace decorate the glass.
Aroma is subdued, with caramel and toffee notes, and herbal, leafy hops in the background.
Mouthfeel is smooth, medium bodied, with good carbonation.
Taste mirrors the aroma, with sweet toffee and caramel notes balanced well with the herbal hops bitterness. A pleasant twang of minerals is noted throughout, which adds to the character.
This is a very easygoing, Scottish ale that is very highly drinkable except for its above average price tag.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2005 01:52:38 | More by merlin48
Photo of foamer


3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On cask @ Bon Accord, Glasgow

Pours a deep amber colour with a creamy head which dimishes to lacing left all the way down the glass. A good malty nose with some faint hops making themselves known. The citrusy hops were a surprise in the taste for a Scottish beer and the caramel malts balanced out the hops nicely, and the beer finished pleasingly bitter. Slightly thin mouthfeel but nevertheless smooth. A nice ale, although I prefer Inveralmond's Ossians Ale, but certainly a decent offering from the folks in Perth.

Serving type: cask

12-19-2004 11:55:00 | More by foamer
Photo of Shiredave

New York

3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A very pretty beer - deep burgandy brown, ultra clear when back-lit. Tiny bubbles of carb rise to a persistantly tight, off white head leaving nice strands of lace on the glass.

Aroma is subtle; initially I got a sharp cidery aroma that dissapeared with a couple of swirls. Some sweet mollasos and coffee notes with a hint of wet wood.

Flavor is soft and refined with light sweetness up front and some earthy hop flavors. Mild dark grain flavors mix well with chalky dryness . Mouthfeel is light and a bit watery but approprate to style. Smooth and lush on the tongue, this is a very drinkable beer, and a flavorfull, un-boring session beer.

Definate mineral character and controlled hop bittering contribute to the long, dry finish. Lingering toffee notes invite another swallow... and another.

A classic example of a Scottish Ale ( 40 Shilling give or take ) and while pricey and not earth shattering, worth checking out.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2004 02:27:18 | More by Shiredave
Lia Fail from Inveralmond Brewery Ltd., The
85 out of 100 based on 114 ratings.